231 Law

Types of Criminal Defenses Used in Criminal Trials

If you’ve been accused of any crime, expect to appear in court. In this situation, the accused is referred to as the defendant. Working with the defendant, an Orlando criminal defense lawyer will want to build criminal defense to ensure a guilty verdict doesn’t arise.

A criminal defense refers to a strategic argument aimed at challenging the sufficiency and validity of the prosecution’s evidence. In this case, the prosecution refers to the party attempting to prove you’re guilty of a certain crime.

Affirmative criminal defense

Certain criminal defenses may try to undo the prosecution’s evidence by proving it’s false. On the other hand, some defenses can accept part of the prosecution’s evidence to be true. Such defenses are commonly known as affirmative defenses. These defenses require the defendant together with their criminal attorney, to come up with evidence that supports the defense.

For instance, if you’re facing first-degree murder charges, you and your lawyer can decide to come up with an alibi witness-someone to testify that you couldn’t have committed the crime you’re being accused of. In this case, the alibi witness is the defense.

Coercion and duress

It’s an affirmative criminal defense, which says you were forced into committing a crime after an unlawful force was used to threaten you. The unlawful force itself doesn’t necessarily have to occur; the threat of the unlawful force could be sufficient to prove a coercion defense.

Also, the accused doesn’t have to experience the threat of force directly. It could have been directed towards another person, such as the accused’s family member.

Abandonment and withdrawal

Also referred to us renunciation, abandonment and withdrawal, is another criminal defense type available to defendants. The defense often says that you were to be their accomplice or commit a certain crime, but you decided not to take part in it. You and your criminal defense attorney need to produce evidence to show abandonment indeed occurred.

For this type of defense to work, you should not have acted in a way that led to the crime before withdrawing from it, or you need to have informed law enforcement agents prior to the crime.

The insanity defense

Popularized by movies and television shows, the insanity defense is not used frequently. It states that you committed the crime but didn’t know it was wrong.

To be successful with this defense, you and your lawyer must provide evidence to show that you had a severe mental disorder or defect during the time the crime took place, and that the mental disease or defect prevented you from perceiving that your actions were illegal.

Other common types of criminal defenses

Self-defense: According to this defense, your actions that would be regarded as criminal occurred in a bid to defend yourself.

Intoxication: While being intoxicated won’t exonerate you from most crimes such as DUI, for instance, it can in some cases, negate the element of a crime.

Consent: Here, the defense acknowledges the victim gave the defendant consent to commit some action, such as bodily harm.

Statute of limitations: The amount of time required for the prosecution to file charges against the defendant has already passed, and so, the charges ought to be dropped.

The type of criminal defense you decide to use is dependent on the crime you being charged with, and on the evidence available.